Anemia Signs, Symptoms and Treatments

By Heartspring Staff . A collection of anmenia topics.

Anemia Signs:

The most common symptoms of anemia is fatigue, feeling tired, weak or having low energy. It may be more difficult to find the energy to do normal activities if you have anemia. Other symptoms of anemia include:

Anemia symptoms are confirmed with a laboratory blood test. Anemia treatments depends on the kind of anemia you have.

All of these signs and symptoms can occur because your heart has to work harder to pump more oxygen-rich blood through the body.

In some cases of anemia, a rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) may occur. Over time, this arrhythmia can damage your heart, causing it to enlarge and possibly resulting in heart failure. Anemia can damage other organs in your body because the blood cannot deliver enough oxygen to them.

If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Your iron might be too low because of heavy periods, pregnancy, ulcers, colon polyps, colon cancer, inherited disorders or a diet that does not have enough iron. You can also get anemia from not getting enough folic acid or vitamin B 12. Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, or cancer may also lead to anemia.

Nutrition and Dietary Supplements for Anemia

Some types of anemia are caused by low levels of vitamins or iron in the body. Low levels of vitamins or iron can be due to poor diet or certain diseases and conditions. Treatment for vitamin or iron deficiency may include changing your diet or taking vitamin or iron supplements. The vitamin supplements most commonly taken are vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin C is sometimes given to help the body absorb iron.
Iron

Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin. Iron found in meats is more easily absorbed into your blood than the iron found in vegetables and other foods. To treat your anemia, your doctor may recommend eating more meat—especially red meat such as beef and liver—as well as chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and shellfish.

Sometimes iron is given in the form of mineral supplements. Usually these are combined with multivitamins and other minerals that help your body absorb iron. Some foods are fortified with extra iron (that is, iron is added to the foods. These foods include cereals, bread, and pasta. You can find out how much iron is in your food by reading the nutrition labels on food packaging. The amount is given as a percentage of the recommended daily requirement.

Other foods that are good sources of iron include:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Good dietary sources of vitamin C are vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits. Fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and juices usually have more vitamin C than canned ones. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and similar fruit. If you are taking medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. This citrus fruit affects the strength and effectiveness of a few medicines. Other fruits rich in vitamin C include kiwi fruit, mangos, apricots, strawberries, cantaloupes, and watermelons.

Vegetables rich in vitamin C include broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables like romaine lettuce, turnip greens, and spinach.

Some of the differences in vitamin & mineral content from 1975 to 2000

Statistics: United States Department of Agriculture

Vitamin B12

Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to a type of anemia called pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia most often occurs because the body is unable to absorb vitamin B12. Pernicious anemia can often be treated with vitamin B12 supplements. Good food sources of vitamin B12 include breakfast cereals fortified with this vitamin. Animal products are particularly rich in vitamin B12. These items include meats (such as beef, liver, poultry, fish, and shellfish), eggs, and dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese).

Folate

Folate comes from the Latin word meaning "leaf" and is a form of vitamin B that is found in foods. Your body needs folate to produce and maintain new cells. Folate is very important for pregnant women to help avoid anemia and ensure the healthy development of the fetus. Good sources of folic acid—in addition to bread, pasta, and rice fortified with a man-made version of folate. Natural sources of folate include:

Source: National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

Anemia: Peer-Reviewed Research

Consider visualizing how iron transfers through our stomachs, traveling deep into our bones where the marrow is continuously creating new blood cells. In turn, it's the job of these healthy new red blood cells to carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body, providing energy to some 100 trillion cells. (6 x 10 to the 13th power) Reference

Research findings about anemia treatments and therapies, appearing in the PubMed database of peer-reviewed journals.

Iron Metabolism and Anemia

Iron uptake is "modulated by inflammation." www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326317

Clinical research suggests reduce chronic inflammation by adding turmeric and ginger into our diets. If diagnosed with anemia, the above research suggest taking iron supplements while at the same time addressing chronic inflammation issues.

Salt with Iron and Iodine Help Prevent Anemia

A 2008 study conducted by Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Ghana, reveals how dual fortification of salt with iron and iodine in women and children shows promise in positively affecting anemia in women and children. This study concludes."While the use of Double Fortified Salt (DFS) prevented anemia in women, it had a significant role in both the prevention and treatment of anemia in children."
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18232268

A multi center community study on the efficacy of double-fortified salt. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17718017

Which Form of Iron?

"Ferrous gluconate" appears in the Pubmed data-base showing a better safety record when compared to other types of iron.

Good Sources of Iron Include:

Anemia was one of the most common symptoms of those who tested positive with Babesiosis, a secondary illness of Lyme disease according to the epidemiologic features of human babesiosis by the Department of Medicine University of WisconsinExit Site

For more see: What is Anemia? by the National Institues of Health.




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Heartspring Staff are assistants of board reviewed doctors that are medical editors, authors, and reviewers, providing oversight for Heartspring.net. This article is currently undergoing doctor reveiw.




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